• Karanja said they tried to convince Tecra to stop dating Omar in vain.
• “At some point, she told us to stop that topic,” Karanja told Milimani principal magistrate Zainab Abdul.
Keroche CEO Tabitha Karanja could not believe what she saw when her daughter Tecra Muigai sent her photos of her then-boyfriend Omar Lali on WhatsApp.
“I told her that she had sent the wrong photo because the guy was too old for her. She said ‘No, he is the one,’” Karanja said Tuesday at the inquest into Tecra's death.
Karanja said they tried to convince Tecra to stop dating Omar in vain.
“At some point, she told us to stop that topic,” Karanja told Milimani principal magistrate Zainab Abdul.
Tecra died on May 2 at a Nairobi hospital while undergoing treatment following a fall in Lamu.
Karanja said Tecra's life was cut short by a lazy man who could not provide for her and enjoyed the proceeds of her hard work. She said Omar killed Tecra when she couldn't give him any more money.
Karanja presented Tecra's bank statements showing she had transferred more than Sh1 million to Omar over five months.
“He was after my daughter's hard-earned income and at the moment he noticed she could not give him money anymore he killed her,” Karanja said.
Tecra transferred money to Omar on diverse dates between August 2019 and March last year, according to Karanja's testimony.
She also claimed police found unsigned bank slips in their house in Lamu showing other instances of Tecra transferring money to Omar.
Karanja said Tecra had on several occasions called to tell her about her arguments with Omar.
“When we talked on the phone, she went on to tell me that a week or two they had been on a trip to Tanzania where Omar got into a terrible argument with her brother that almost led into a fight,” Karanja told the court.
She reached out to the two to find out why all that had taken place.
“Tecra told me that they have been having a lot of arguments and most of them were on why Omar was not listening to her or why Omar never wanted anybody around her,” she said.
Karanja explained Tecra was caught up by the lockdown in Lamu which started in March last year.
“I told her to use public means and travel back. We waited after one lockdown to another. She was scared to travel by public means,” the court heard.
She said she met Omar once and briefly before Tecra's death. They did not speak to each other.
Karanja said she hoped the inquest would find justice for Tecra and stop any other person who is lazy and is out there to harm innocent children.
Peter Kariuki, a second witness, said he met Tecra and Omar three to four times before her death.
Kariuki testified that Omar would be jealous if any man talked to Tecra.
There would be a heated verbal and sometimes physical exchanges but Tecra would calm Omar down.
“Whenever I could reach out to Tecra, it was Omar who would receive the call and would never let me speak to her,” he said. Omar would say Tecra is busy and doesn't want to speak to Kariuki.
“I would say all her relationships changed when Omar came into Tecra's life. She cut off her friends and when I asked her she told me Omar wanted to spend all the time with her,” Kariuki said.
Kariuki said Omar isolated Tecra from everyone. The hearing continues.
(edited by o. owino)